Run Like an Animal Half Marathon 2019 Race Overview

Do you waddle like a penguin, or trot like a horse? Either way you won’t want to miss this otterly amazing race!

The Saginaw Children’s Zoo is the ottermost excited for the second annual “Run Like an Animal” race. You otter run/walk your best in the 5K or Half-Marathon, or in the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. 

The Saginaw Children’s Zoo is grateful for community support and, we encourage all ages to get out, get active, and get connected with nature.  

This year's event is presented by:





Date:  May 5, 2019

Start Time:  8:00 AM

Location:  Swan Valley High School

Address:  8400 Ohern Rd, Saginaw, MI 48609


Course Description:

Run Like an Animal half marathon, 5k run/walk, and 1 mile will highlight several of the Bay Region’s nicest features. Both the half marathon and 5K are sanctioned by USA Track and Field; which means that not only are the courses certified by USATF as accurate, but our event management meets the gold standard as an Official USATF sanctioned event. Only a handful of events in Michigan are currently certified AND sanctioned by USATF and we are proud to provide our participants with this extraordinary quality every year. The course is flat and fast for those of you looking to set a personal record.

The half marathon race begins by heading south from Swan Valley High School passing through Kluck Nursery and following country roads to the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail. Enjoy the wonderful trail system as you loop through the township’s countryside before making your way back to the high school. 

Without the gracious welcome of the Saginaw County Rail Trail and Kluck Nursery we would not be able to offer such a scenic and pristine racecourse. More info on the Saginaw Country Trail here. 

5k run/walk athletes will follow the half marathon athletes down O’Hern before turning north on Van Wormer Rd with a quick loop through the neighborhoods just north of the high school. 

Kids and families doing the 1 mile “fun run” enjoy a flat “out and back” route on O'Hern Rd.

Packet Pickup and Late Registration:

  • Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 3:00-6:00 pm at the Saginaw Children's Zoo

  • Sunday, May 5, 2019 beginning at 6:30 am at the Swan Valley High School Gym

Note: T-shirts are not guaranteed to late registrants. Please register online to ensure your race t-shirt is available at packet pickup!

Online Registration closes at Midnight, Thursday, May 2nd. After that, ALL registrations will be completed on-site at late registration/packet pickup at the increased rate.


All events will start on O’Hern Road, south of Swan Valley High School and finish in the High School Parking Lot at the O’Hern Road Entrance. 

Times and Timing:

TriToFinish and Newton Race Timing will provide and monitor chip-imbedded B-tag timing (timing device inserted in bibs of participants). All participants will be timed based on “gun start” this year. The 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will not be timed.

Event Starting Times

8:00 am • 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk (not timed)

8:30 am • Half Marathon Run 

8:40 am • 5K Run/Walk

Age Groups/Divisions: 

9 & Under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80 & over


Overall Awards

Overall male and female winners of the half marathon, and 5K event will receive special "Zoo Experience" to commemorate their wins.

Age Group Awards

Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Male and Female participants will be awarded for the half marathon, and 5K event.

Award Schedule

5K Overall Award Ceremony – Begins at 10:30 AM

The Presentation for the Top Overall Male and Female 5K Awards will be followed immediately by 5K Age Group Awards

Half Marathon Overall Awards Ceremony – Begins at 11:30 AM

Age Group Awards for the Half Marathon will begin immediately after completion of the Overall Awards 

NOTE: All participants will receive their finisher medals upon completion of their event at the finish line. Once final results are posted, age group awards may also be picked up at the AWARDS BOOTH located near the registration tables.


Results will be posted periodically during the event. Final results will be available within 30 minutes after the last participant of each race crosses the finish line and will be posted online at 24 hours after event.


Swan Valley High School:

  • Access to O’Hern Road via Miller Road will remain open throughout the event.

  • Access to O’Hern Road via Van Wormer Road will be open until 7:00 AM

  • Access to high school via Swan Valley Middle School will remain open throughout the event.

Rolling Road Closures:

In place between 7:00 AM to 11:45 AM


Are strollers allowed on the course?

Jogging strollers ONLY are allowed during the half marathon. Jogging strollers and baby strollers are allowed on the 5K and 1 Mile courses but we ask that participants pushing strollers please stay to the rear of the corral at the start of the race so as not to impede runners.

Can my dog run at this event?

Unfortunately, no. Sanctioning and insurance requirements do not allow for pets to participate in this race. We don’t mind if Fido comes to watch, but he/she will not be able to participate.

What if it rains/snows/floods? Will the event be cancelled? And will I receive a refund?

This race will go on race day barring dangerous weather (i.e., tornados, lightning, extreme high winds, dangerous flooding, etc.). If lighting is present, race start time will be pushed back in increments of 30 minutes until the weather clears enough to race. Should flooding on the course occur, an alternate route will be utilized and communicated to participants. Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather and will not be able to refund participants should Mother Nature cause the event to be cancelled altogether.

Refund Policy

We completely understand that plans change and athletes will sometimes be unable to compete in an event they've signed up for.  Unfortunately, refunds will not be provided for any event unless the event is cancelled for reasons within our control.  Dangerous weather, natural disasters, and local emergencies are examples of reasons an event may be cancelled that are NOT within our control.

Should a participant have an injury or other medical issue keeping them from competing in an event they've registered for, we would be happy to transfer their registration to a similar TriToFinish-owned event up to and including the same event the following season.  A doctor's slip may be required as proof of injury or ailment.  Failure to provide proof if requested will result in non-transfer of the event.

Transferring registrations to other athletes is NOT allowed.

Click HERE to view more things happening at the Zoo! 




  • 13.1 Mile Run

  • 5K Run/Walk

  • Youth 5K Run/Walk

  • 1 Mile Fun Run


Half Marathon Run

  • $48.00 valid until 05/02/19

  • $60.00 for on-site registration

5K Run/Walk*

  • $28.00 valid until 05/02/19

  • $35.00 for on-site registration

Youth 5K Run/Walk (Ages 12 & Under)*

  • $20.00 valid until 05/02/19

  • $25.00 for on-site registration

1 Mile Fun Run

  • $15.00 valid until 05/05/19

* There will not be a separate category for Walkers at this event. All participants in the 5K are free to run and/or walk as they see fit.


Race Sponsors and Partners




Schmidt Remodeling Construction

Schmidt Remodeling Construction